Mrs Doubtfire The Musical Reviews Round-up

London theatre critics have reviewed new West End show Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London.

Starring Gabriel Vick (Avenue Q) as Daniel Hillard – aka Mrs Doubtfire, the part played in the original movie by Robin Williams, Mrs Doubtfire The Musical is booking at the Shaftesbury Theatre until 2 June 2024.

Directed by four-time Tony Award winning director Jerry Zaks (Hello, Dolly!), the show has original music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, and a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell.

Choreography for the show is by Lorin Latarro (Waitress), with music supervision, arrangements and orchestrations by Ethan Popp (Tina: The Tina Turner Musical).

Mrs Doubtfire also stars Laura Tebbutt (School of Rock) as Miranda Hillard, Carla Dixon-Hernandez (Matilda the Musical) as Lydia Hillard, Cameron Blakely (Newsies) as Frank Hillard, Marcus Collins (Kinky Boots) as Andre, Samuel Edwards (Anything Goes) as Stuart Dunmire, Ian Talbot OBE (Hairspray, and director of The Mousetrap) as Mr. Jolly and Kelly Agbowu (Sylvia) as Wanda Sellner.

Further cast in the show includes Nicole Carlisle, Joshua Dever, Joseph Dockree, Rebecca Donnelly, Amy Everett, Maria Garrett, Kiera Haynes, Vicki Lee Taylor, Adam Lyons, Lisa Mathieson, Corey Mitchell, Ellie Mitchell, Matt Overfield, Rhys Owen, Christopher Parkinson, Micha Richardson, Tom Scanlon, Paulo Teixeira and Samuel Wilson-Freeman; plus Max Bispham, Elliot Mugume and Frankie Treadaway who alternate the role of Christopher Hillard, and Scarlett Davies, Angelica-Pearl Scott and Ava Posniak who alternate the role of Natalie Hillard.

Read reviews from London critics including the Evening Standard, The Times, The Stage, The Telegraph, The Guardian, i News, and with more reviews to be added.

Book tickets to Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre London.

Mrs Doubtfire The Musical reviews

The Times

"Cross-dressing comedy soars from screen to stage"

"Beyond the quantum shift in attitudes, you need a lead who’s not just a virtuoso mimic but who, like Robin Williams in the film, can combine almost hallucinatory hyperactivity with genuine pathos. Luckily Gabriel Vick as Daniel, the cross-dressing hero, can miraculously mimic Yoda, Boris Johnson and an alcoholic French nanny in quick succession as well as demonstrate emotional warmth; he makes this play fly."

"For far more than being about gender, Mrs Doubtfire plays with that enduring dramatic theme of what disguise teaches us about ourselves."

"It does feel old-fashioned at times, and with the wrong chemistry could be as tedious as a crocheted cardigan. Vick’s performance, however, gives it all the electricity it needs to achieve lift-off."

Rachel Halliburton, The Times
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The Telegraph

"Mrs Doubtfire the musical? It has the makings of a sure-fire hit, my dears"

"Whether or not the West End needs yet another screen-to-stage adaptation, this take on the Robin Williams favourite is a complete joy"

"... like its zany hero, the evening, directed by Jerry Zaks, works overtime to inveigle its way into your affections. Above all, multi-talented, hyper-active Gabriel Vick in the lead goes the extra mile, and then some, to win approval, honouring what we loved about the film without being dully emulatory."

"The action has been tweaked to open up opportunities for song and dance – which by turns augment the themes and adorn them, a surreal chorus-line of River-dancing Doubtfires the height of interpolated silliness."

"The show skirts mention of trans issues. But Daniel’s disguise is a foolhardy yet emotive means to an end – flouting humourless, inhumane officialdom to stay paternally close to his brood, with a learning curve en route as to where he went wrong as a husband."

Dominic Cavendish, The Telegraph
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The Evening Standard

"This musical is well done, just don’t think too hard about it"

"Fun farce and silly comedy make this perfect for kids, if you don’t worry too much about the whole email hacking thing..."

"... this adaptation by brothers Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick and writer/satirist John O’Farrell entertains plenty, even if the songs dissolve like sugar as soon as we’ve heard them. There’s lots of fun farce and very silly comedy, which is what you’d expect from the co-writers of Chicken Run, and it’s clear that this is a show for young kids, in the elevated realm of dancing grannies and silly voices."

"More impressive is the number of quick changes: in and out of that bodysuit and mask a couple of dozen times. Director Jerry Zaks decides not to hide the transitions and it’s amazing seeing Vick transform so instantly... his performance is technically spectacular, and very funny, particularly in a farce scene where he tries to spatchcock a chicken."

"The second act becomes slightly more imaginative as a coven of Doubtfires appears and cartoonishly beats up Daniel, but for every elevated moment there are misfires, too"

"In the great glut of movie-to-musical adaptations currently force-feeding the West End, this is some kind of exact median. It’s not superb, like Groundhog Day, but it’s not Pretty Woman either, thank God."

Tim Bano, The Evening Standard
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i News

"Gabriel Vick quickly banishes thoughts of Robin Williams"

"The star is nothing less than phenomenal in an energetic show that leaves a warm and fuzzy feeling of happiness"

"Vick, a British actor who has served his time in musicals, is nothing less than phenomenal in a role that is a dizzying feat of endurance, necessitating myriad quick changes and all-out energy from start to finish – as well as the possession of a lovely singing voice and an easy facility for impersonations."

"Zaks sensibly makes a virtue of the costume changes that Vick must undergo; we are rooting for him to get it done in time (and goodness, he does it fast)."

"It’s a consoling parable for fractured and blended families everywhere, leaving audiences with a warm and fuzzy feeling of happiness."

Fiona Mountford, i News
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The Stage

"Cumbersome and charmless"

"Musical based on the popular Robin Williams movie is loud, cumbersome and charmless"

"Here, then, it is to lead actor Gabriel Vick’s immense credit that, although he cannot banish memories of Williams – how could he, when the title character’s costume, hair and make-up slavishly reproduce the original? – his unstoppable energy powers everything in this show. Whether he should have bothered to drive so secondhand a vehicle – with music and lyrics by Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, and a book co-written by the latter with John O’Farrell – is another matter."

"No one appears to trust the material. And given that, beneath the farce, this is about listening to one another, that’s a problem. Even Miranda’s open-hearted second-act number about her sweet memories of their early relationship – a standout in the Kirkpatricks’ entirely forgettable, melody-free, rhythm-led score – is oversold. Laura Tebbutt’s role is one-dimensional but here, where she should gently blossom, she’s encouraged to emote in lung-busting climaxes."

David Benedict, The Stage
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The Guardian

"All energy, no emotion"

"The cast do their exuberant best but this bland, by-the-numbers retread of the 1990s film lacks feeling and adds nothing original beyond a reference to Love Island"

"This adaptation, directed by Jerry Zaks, is a generic production which does not go the way of the Old Vic’s Groundhog Day in trying to give us anything original. Like the recently staged versions of Elf, it does a workman-like job of replication with a few not-so-convincing plot twists and updates for our time (there is talk of Love Island and Tinder)."

"Gabriel Vick plays manchild Daniel efficiently and his gift for impersonation (including King Charles with his leaky pen) is his biggest strength."

"Among the Hillard’s children, Carla Dixon-Hernandez, as Lydia, stands out for her singing voice, and there is some texture to her relationship with Daniel. But there are too few moments when we connect emotionally to the story"

Arifa Akbar, The Guardian
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The Financial Times

"Another eccentric 1993 movie also finds musical voice in the shape of Mrs Doubtfire, adapted by John O’Farrell and Wayne and Karey Kirkpatrick, but with less consistent results."

"Vick is terrific, giving a firecracker of a performance in Jerry Zaks’s staging. Buzzing with comic energy, he zaps between dance routines, slapstick and vocal impersonations while also tracing the more sober story of a man who learns that his biggest disguise has been himself. Vick lets you see Daniel’s growing awareness that his play-acting has been a way of avoiding hard realities."

"Elsewhere, however, many songs glide by without leaving much of a mark, and the show feels like a missed opportunity to revisit the story in more depth and to interrogate more intricately the themes of separation, parenthood and masculinity."

Sarah Hemming, The Financial Times
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Mrs Doubtfire The Musical

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📷 Main photo: Mrs Doubtfire at the Shaftesbury Theatre. Photo by Manuel Harlan

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3 thoughts on “Mrs Doubtfire The Musical Reviews Round-up”

  1. An absolutely fantastic show which I felt privileged to see with my adult son today.
    The whole cast were brilliant but I have to give a big shout out to Gabriel Vick as Mrs Doubtfire – absolutely phenomenal. How do you have all that energy? Thank you !

  2. A family friendly, quick whitted, spectacular masterpiece, a must see. The show embodies the pureness of the feature length film, whilst taking a modernised twist in parts. The show was truly entertaining and is worthy of success, great cast.

  3. One of the best musicals I’ve seen in the West End. Funny and heartfelt….acting, singing and dance routines all brilliant. Highly recommend.

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